The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013) Poster

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Worse than Twilight, and I loathed Twilight.
sasha-tifton13 October 2013

I watched this fim with a friend who has never read the book. I, on the other hand, read it years ago, but wasn't interested enough to continue with the series. However, I was willing to judge it as a film on its own merits, not as a book adaptation. By the end of the movie, we were left disappointed. It was rushed, choppy, unevenly paced, and made no effort to define the world it was set in. All the characters could have died and we would have felt nothing because the film did little to make us care them.


  • The script was so atrocious that we began predicting what characters would say next during the cheesiest scenes. 95% of the time, we were right - word for word. When Jace said to Clary, "I told you I'd never met an angel…", I said, "Please, for the love of god, don't say: 'now I have'". He did. We died a little.

  • There was zero character development. Clary had no personality. When we tried to describe her, we could not come up with a single adjective as we knew nothing about this girl. (Actually, that's a lie. When she pulled the mortal cup out of the card in front of the witch who was obviously a demon, and then again in front of Hodge, my friend yelled, "How are you so STUPID?".) Clary was presented as the protagonist even though we were given no reason to root for her or care about her. We. Knew. Zilch. About. Her. (Beyond being prone to dumb and reckless behavior). It didn't help that Lily Collins, while pretty, has no on-screen charisma. She was just a bland attractive girl. The other characters suffered equally. We could tell that Simon was nerdy, Isabelle liked slutty clothes and fighting, Valentine was evil, Hodge was sketchy, Luke was some kind of family friend (why, who knows?) and Jace was the standard romantic lead with a penchant for sappy lines and rescuing Clary. Beyond that, nothing.

  • Words like 'the Clave', 'the accord', and others were thrown in without explanation.

  • We were expected to believe that the mortal cup was some kind of holy grail even though the movie hardly explained how it functioned beyond a couple of statements about its necessity for making more shadow hunters. After all the build up with no clarification, my friend began to expect that the cup's powers would be demonstrated at the climax, making things clearer. Of course, this did not happen, and she was left unsatisfied. We cared about the mortal cup as much as we cared about the characters - which is to say, not at all.

  • The Silent Brothers were never explained. They were just creepy dudes living under a graveyard.

  • The weapons were ill-defined. They just did whatever the characters needed them to do at any given time - be it tattooing runes, slaying demons, or drilling magical peepholes through bookcases. They might as well have been Harry Potter wands.

  • Clary inexplicably accuses Alec of being in love with Jace even though we saw no indication that he was even gay.

  • The Clary and Jace romance felt forced. There was no build up. We were never shown why he would be attracted to her, or why she returned those feelings. When they finally kissed in the garden, it was uncomfortably awkward.

  • In a seemingly random act, Valentine wanted Clary to drink his blood from the cup and no one knew why. Said my friend at this point: "Is he Jesus?"

  • Loose ends. Simon is bitten by a vampire. At no point in the film does anybody bother to tell him this. Even when he storms out of the institute, Clary doesn't think to say, "By the way, a vampire bit you." We waited for the effects of the bite to manifest - to find out if he was a vampire or not. But in the end, we were forced to conclude that in the world of The Mortal Instruments, being bitten by vampires only improves your eyesight.

  • The werewolves only existed to serve as expendable extras in fight scenes.

  • Speaking of fight scenes, many went on for far too long. Time could have been better spent on character development so that we actually cared if anyone died in a fight.

  • In the ultimate deus ex machina, Clary draws a rune that freezes all the demons. No one else has ever seen this rune. No one figures out how Clary knows how to draw it. It was like the screenwriters realized that their heroine had been useless and needed her to do something powerful to prove why she's the protagonist, since her talents thus far largely involved leading others into mortal peril.

  • Why were they using fire to battle demons that looked as if they were made essentially out of fire? Do we spray water to stop a flood?

  • The portal in the wall was supposed to take someone to the place they focused on or keep them in limbo. How did Valentine reach out of the portal to grab Clary after he gets shoved in?

  • Clary draws a cleaning rune at the end of the movie and magically tidies her apartment. At that point, it just became ridiculous. Are there runes to trim cat toenails and enable WIFI as well?

I thought the whole Twilight franchise was awful but despite the dreadfulness of those movies, the plot was never unclear to even those with IQ deficiencies. I can't say the same about The Mortal Instruments.
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Horribly disappointed
Marisa Purdy23 August 2013
Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments is one of my favorite series and I was so excited to see this movie. I've been to plenty of book-to-movie showings, so I knew not to expect the exact same thing, but regardless, I went in with high expectations. The beginning was... weird (and out of order, but that's just my OCD, no biggie). However, this movie was so horribly different from the book that it lost all of it's value. I don't just mean the events were slightly moderated to save time, I mean they changed the entire plot. Jace wasn't terrible- could've been cockier, Clary was horribly over-dramatic, Magnus was expressionless, and they managed to ruin my favorite character: Valentine. He became a bland, one- sided villain, unlike the ingeniously dynamic character Clare made him out to be. The movie had changes in it that ruptured the foundation of the book and a lot of what it stands for, ruining the ingenuity of the plot and the world that Clare built which had me so enraptured from the beginning. It's a shame because they had such potential with this movie. I still can't understand how they could take such a great story line and decide that it was only acceptable to warp it to a point beyond recognition....
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danicas22 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Words can't describe how disappointing this film was . Cassandra Clare effed this up . it had the potential of being something good.. lets start with the characters

Alec (Kevin Zegers) Is your character going thru a language dilemma ? Are you British , or American..& No one other than the fans of the books got the gay vibe off him, so it was balls confusing to everyone else when Clary outed him . 0/10

Isabelle (Jemima West)

Pretty enough for the character, but why change her entire personality from the book? & not to mention her height.. 4/10

Simon(Robert Sheehan) Perfect Simon , from top to bottom But Cassandra Clare,why would you allow an entire story arc change for this character. again other than the fans , no one had a clue why he didn't need his glasses anymore.. and why all of a sudden he is a day walker... where was the rat , where was the birth of a vampire , where was his Jewish jokes!!! this character was the seconded most disappointing portal. 5/10

Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower)

what the eff ... this , this is not jace. Jamie looks like he is a drug addict , scrawny , unflattering , and not to mention the lack of chemistry between jace and Clary on film. Disgusting performance.. #1 most disappointing thing about this entire film was him . 0/10

Clary (Lily Collins) sigh , obviously this was a money grab of a casting choice.


Valentine (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) If you make such a fuss in the book about his white hair ....WHY DOESN'T HE HAVE WHITE HAAAAAIR!!! arg. JRM , was a terrible Valentine . He made that character into a stubborn child , and not the sly evil devil valentine should've been . And really hodge makes up the idea for jace to be your son REALLY ?!?!?!? bull just bull ! 0/10

Jocelyn (Lena Headey) She wasn't that bad actually , stayed true to character , but i blame the script and how is was made that made her character look like a fool. & Oh , and she has a bad case of the duck lips.. 6/10

Now to talk about the movie itself ( i'll keep it short)

Too fast , did not stay true to the book of characters , horrible cinematography, the cheesiest soundtrack, and way too jumpy for fans and newbies alike .

Sorry for the harsh review , in fact its my first and most likely my last.But after watching this movie i was heartbroken and i needed to share my frustration with anyone willing to read this, My grammar & spelling are very poor i realize this , so take it as it is and if you go and see this movie go in knowing its not what your wanting to see.

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Two hours of my life I'll never get back...
Susie See22 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
There are so many things wrong with this movie, it made me want to scream. I cannot forgive the scene where she freezes the demons. As a group, instead of killing the frozen demons, they walk through the demons and wait for them to unfreeze and have the demons kill the werewolves. Come on! They can kill off the werewolves with more demons. There are so many little things like that that just made the movie stupid for anyone who's older than 15.

Oh, and the incest theme, come on. Put two and two together people, and get a frigging DNA test. Also, when "someone" from the inside has let the demons in, think about it, by a process of elimination, there's 5 of you, 4 of whom were together. Just a thought, it'd be the one who wasn't with you. Ta-dah!

I really wanted to like this movie, the premise is fantastic. The actors did a very good job with such a silly script, and the special effects are cool. It would help if the characters talked about the same thing instead of randomly jumping topics within a conversation.
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Better than Most are Making it Out to Be
illyria25021 August 2013
I just got done watching a midnight showing of City of Bones. First off I will say that I am a fan of the series and I will try to make this review as middle ground as possible.

I have spent the last few days reading over threads on the discussion board and once the critics reviews came out I read most of those too. Yes I know a lot were negative and abrasive, and sometimes even childish in their mockery of the young adult genre. I went into this movie as open-minded as possible knowing that there were some changes made to the film.

Firstly, several reviews, both good and bad, had issues with the pacing. The time line is very condensed at the start of the film so things do seem to be happening in a whirlwind. This is because they condensed a few of the events from the novel into a shorter time span to enable the movie not to drawl on and be way too long. I didn't mind how they chose to change things up a bit and thought they tied things together fairly well. I just could see it being a bit hard to follow for the non fans that don't know what was cut out.

I was worried about the romance being played up too much since some reviews were so caught up in the triangle. It was a small part of the bigger story much like in the book. Parts of it did come off a bit cheesy, but overall it did not overpower the movie like I thought it was.

I really enjoyed the action sequences. They weren't too short or too long and I felt they were well coordinated. There's definitely enough action for the guys that will be dragged to this with their girlfriends.

Some of the changes will probably be unsettling to the fans or upsetting because more of the film was different than I was warned or expected. Many reviewers were adamant that it kept to the book most of the time, but I would say it was a pretty even mix.

Like most fans I had a certain idea how some scenes or characters would be and I felt a little let down because characters weren't how I imagined or expected them. Magnus falls flat and lacks the charisma and attitude of his book counterpart. I also felt the way Valentine was played/portrayed did not fall in line with how he was in the book. But everyone who reads has there own interpretations and he wasn't close to he Valentine I had envisioned.

Lastly I feel this is a pretty solid movie for the fans and non readers. I wouldn't say it's perfect, few movies have ever come close to achieving that status. There are a lot of good elements going on here and a lot of decent acting from people I least expected it given the time they had to actually develop the characters. If you have any interest in watching the movie don't let all the negativity sway you. Go in with an open mind and make your own judgement. I won't say I loved this movie, but I did really enjoy it and would definitely see it again.
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This can't be true:(
frswlaliwth31 August 2013
I went to see this movie the other day and since I'm a big fan of the books I was all so excited to actually be able to see my fantasy on the big screen. But as the movie started playing everything went down the hill. They have changed basic dates which play a big part in the whole story since certain events happen at specific time and they actually change the whole story. With the exception of the funny poetry scene with Erik everything else was.. how can I put it politely? Bad. I couldn't even understand the feelings the characters were supposed to be feeling before they were spoken out loud. In the books there is a certain motive, communication-battle- communication-adventure, so you're able to understand what's going on. But in the movie you just don't get it. The movie itself is a spoiler, it gives way too much information which is supposed to stay hidden because it makes the upcoming story more interesting and breathtaking.

In conclusion, I really think that the books had good potential for becoming a movie without changing everything, which unfortunately happened.

(Read the books, they are amazing. and skip the movie)

Dear Hollywood, make a remake.
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Great Movie for everyone, not just the Twilight crowd
wraytogo20 August 2013
First of all you need to know this review is coming from a 39 year old Male who has never read the books. Having heard the hype that this was the next twilight series (which I dutifully, but barely endured as a good husband)... this movie is NOTHING LIKE TWILIGHT AT ALL. Heres why:

This is a movie made for more then just teenage girls and soccer mom's. It's has real action, solid acting, good cinematography, and dwells more on the storyline then romance.

Having never read the Mortal Instruments books, I was a little leery of seeing the movie and being totally lost. My fears were unfounded as the first hour of the show does a solid job of laying out the storyline. The first hour did seem a little long for me, but was well worth it and necessary as it made the last hour understandable and fly by with its non-stop action. This is nothing like what I was expecting after having to endure the twilight films with their horrible acting and cheesy cinematography. As well as multiple one-hit wonders of werewolf/vampire/demon shows that have come out since. This show had legitimate effects, great action scenes, and some really good acting performances. Here's my breakdown:

Effects: From the beginning this film proves it's a step above with cinematography and effects. The demons were gruesome, scary, and awesome! When supposed humans turn to demons, this is done very well. One questionable effect towards the beginning of the show was easily forgotten due to the many excellent effects during the whole show.

Action: Having seen Jamie Campbell Bower on the red carpets just moments before seeing the show, I had serious worries about him being able to pull off a believable action figure due to his skinny frame. Oddly, it was the action scenes where I enjoyed his acting the best and believed he was the main man. On the whole, the fight scenes were very engaging, particularly the ending sequences. There were two times though, I wished they had made the fight scenes a little longer to show more of a struggle to overcome.

Acting: This is where I was most pleasantly surprised. Lily Collins and Robert Sheehan stole the show in terms of solid, believable performances. Jamie did a convincing job and exceeded my expectations, but did fall a little short at subtle times as his skinny frame could not be overcome in the shot. His attempt to be seen as tough when his stature said otherwise caught me at times. I felt like all the performers were engaging though, with the exception of the role of Magnus. I'm not sure if it was his acting or the role they put him in, but it just didn't seem to fit the character he could/should have been. Readers may feel differently here, I was just confused if he was intended to be a tough guy or a joke.

Storyline: Understandably they had to lay the foundation of the storyline, which for the first hour they did. There was a lot of information to take in the first hour and honestly I began to doubt how they were going to take this load of info and tie it all together by the end. I was amazed at how well they did it! The last hour flew by as they did an excellent job of tying in each element and doing it with very compelling drama.

Overall I'd give the movie a B+. Solid acting and action stood out and will make a very satisfying experience for any non-reader who watches the show.
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Hooo-rrible Awful Terrible
RedBearAK13 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers

This is one of those movies where the only thing you can say to yourself starting from about five minutes into it is: "If these are the people protecting the world, we are DOOMED."

Filled with some of the most cliché, asinine, juvenile dialog and personalities I've seen in years. Makes Twilight look like a top-notch literary classic by comparison. Hard to believe, I know. Gives Eragon a run for its money in terms of facepalmy unwatchability.

Let's examine some specific examples of the many "how the hell is every character in this movie so STUPID" moments.

The protagonista's friend Simon is captured by vampires, taken back to their lair and trussed up in chains. They rescue him, nearly getting themselves killed in the process, only surviving because some werewolves conveniently show up and, also conveniently, it's almost dawn. No effort is apparently expended figuring out why he was captured by the vampires. Nobody among the team of teenagers -- whose sole purpose in life is supposedly to deal with demons, werewolves, vampires and other supernatural things -- finds it particularly odd that Simon no longer needs his thick nerd glasses afterward they rescue him.


Any six-year-old at this point in the movie should be able to correctly answer the question, "Do you think Simon has been bitten by a vampire?"

The protagonista's mother, apparently trying to protect her daughter, completely fails to give her any kind of information or training that might help her stay alive or get help in the event something nasty happens. Quite predictably, something nasty happens.

The protagonista's new boyfriend spends five minutes of the movie telling her about how a certain set of piano notes written by Bach can reveal the presence of a demon possessing someone. He then plays the music on a piano while locked in an apartment with someone who we can already tell is acting a bit oddly, yet both he and the protagonista remain completely oblivious to the amazingly obvious negative reaction of the now clearly possessed individual to the music he's insisting on playing. We think he's insisting on playing this music because he already suspects the person may be possessed, but no, apparently he just feels like playing some music. Despite all the build-up, they are quite surprised when the demon finally reveals itself, grabs the magic cup, kicks everyone's ass and leaves.

The audience clearly sees that the person is possessed even before the music starts. What exactly was the point having the guy play the music? So we could see just how stupidly oblivious the characters are?

At the exact same time the other members of the team use some kind of demon-finding substance in the room DIRECTLY UPSTAIRS. They watch the substance slide around on the floor of the clearly empty upstairs apartment, clearly showing the presence of a demon IN THE ROOM BELOW.

They are apparently too stupid to figure this out, and just stare at the substance dumb-founded as it moves back and forth on the upstairs apartment floor, until FINALLY they hear a scream from downstairs and figure out that they should go back downstairs and help out. Whereupon they are stymied by, get this, a standard household security chain on the downstairs apartment door. Aren't these guys supposed to be stronger than the mere mortals they are tasked with protecting?

I could pick the whole movie apart like this. It's just unbelievable stupidity piled on top of unbelievable stupidity, with a topping of horribly clichéd dialog, predictability, overly dramatic music and overly long fight scenes.

I've watched and enjoyed some pretty god-awful sci-fi and fantasy over the years simply because I love the genres so much, but so far I've only gotten two- thirds of the way through this and I've already had to pause it and go do something else a couple dozen times. Maybe if I watch the rest of it on mute...
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Wise Guy11 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Most than half of the movie is about a misunderstood teenage rebellious girl. Misunderstood spoiled brat. No, just a spoiled brat. Her actions make no sense, her attitude neither. The plot not even close. Is like they took out everything in the fantasy/horror movies and tried to put it together in this one. Failed, failed miserably. What's with the vampires or werewolves ? where did they come from? why vampires are bad but WW are good ? What happened with the vampires ? who were they working for since they didn't show at the grand finally ? The characters have such a inconsistent background, one can't get their role at all. They just pop out with no explanation, they harm then help with no explanation, they do things without any explanation, and the movie ends that way. Terrible. That little friend zoned sob is bitten by vampires, what happened with that ? No explanation. I would stay away from this series and the books also. One star for the so close incest.
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what happened?1
burdenof wings2 September 2013
i never expected "the mortal instruments" to be a great movie, but the poorly directed steaming pile of crap that it is?! for frag sake, you would think with the quality cast in the film it would at least entertain.

now, i like movies. even bad ones...

however, everything from the shabby ruins that look like sharpie marks to the sadly displayed comic relief, this 2+ hour film begs the question, "is it over yet?"

unfortunately, there's a sequel in 2014. wonder how many actors in the film will be asking to be payed per scale...

in closing (10 lines of text? i could use 10 lines of text to describe "poo" or i can just call it "poo"...) save your money. i just watched a lady go crazy in a mcdonald's drive thru on youtube for free and i give that a better review than the mortal instruments.
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Horrible experience (I read the books)
tenlegdragon21 August 2013
This was terrible.

Honestly. Terrible. I've seen Jonah Hex and Catwoman at the cinema, (yes I paid real money to see both movies), so trust me to recognise a bad movie when I see it.

This was worse than Percy Jackson. Go see that instead.

I've read the books for this, the entire Book 1 and 2 and I've skimmed the key parts of 3. It does not help. People are saying that it might have been better if you read the books? NO.

This is a horrible adaptation. It's in the vicinity of "Eragon bad."

I am not lying. If you're asking yourself, "should I watch this movie?" the answer is NO. There's nothing to gain. If you generally like bad movies, then feel free, (sometimes you just get the urge for a stinker, this is fact), but otherwise - avoid.

The writing is atrocious. The direction is atrocious. Some of the lines will crawl your blood, even if you're the youngest most movie-naive teenage girl in existence. There are scenes that'll make you feel embarrassed for the actors. I'm serious. There is this one scene that is so cheesy... I can't even describe it, but it's like all the cheese and all the corny from all five twilight movies condensed into 30-45 seconds.

This makes the Twilight Saga look worthy of an Academy Award. Every single joke falls flat. Every single one. Jace is supposed to be the witty one, and he's supposed to have this banter-prone persona - he doesn't. This Jace is almost shy. The dialogue is horrendous. The clichés hit you so hard you start thinking it's a parody halfway through, (it isn't). Geezus.

The Tudors king guy is in it, but he can't save it. I think his appearance was the proverbial nail, in fact. The end is almost incomprehensible as you just lose yourself in a storm of clichés. The movie's plot contradicts all logic and all pathways of common sense, and I'm not exaggerating here.

Now, I grant that the source material wouldn't win any awards either. There won't be any Team Jace or Team Simon T shirts on sale. Not sure how many Clary fans there are in the world, but I'd guess, not much because the original book characters are not the best characters ever. The book's plot isn't the most original thing ever. The books themselves are crap, being honest, but they're tolerable crap. This movie takes that crap and makes crap soup with it. They bring the crap to a boil. They season it... All the better to bring out that smoky crap flavour.

Movie adaptations seldom ever are better than the book, (and I count LOTR as the only exception), but when the bar was set this low, you have to ask "How did they F''' this up?" They had a decent cast. Decent acting too... It's just the writing! It's like the first draft of a screenplay that gets hammered out in a dark latrine while the writer is suffering from food poisoning. Who approves this stuff? Really. Who signed off on this as a good idea. Somewhere along the way, while this movie was being made, someone should have said NO. I feel like this movie should have some controversy to it. Someone should have stormed off the set. I feel like drugs were involved? Maybe?

Mindblowingly bad. The opposite of epic. Painful and embarrassing to watch. Hands down the worst movie of the year.

And there's going to be a sequel?

NO. Say NO, people. Just say NO.
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More Harry Potter then Twilight
freemantle_uk22 August 2013
Since the success of films like Harry Potter and Twilight, film studios have been looking for the next young adult book series to adapt. With five books already out and a sixth on the way, The Mortal Instruments is latest series to diving into a cinematic adaptation, being more fantasy, than supernatural romance.

Clary Fray (Lily Collins) is a seemingly normal New York teenager, who lives with her artistic single mother, Jocelyn (Lena Headey). Her best friend, Simon (Richard Sheehan), has a crush for the young woman, but she sees him more as a brother. Clary leads a normal life, but starts to draw a strange symbol, that leads to changes in her life. She begins to see it everywhere, leading her and Simon to a nightclub where she sees people, no one else can. Soon, Clary's mother is kidnapped and her only ally is Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower), a Shadowhunter, a half-angel, half- human creature, who hunts demons. Clary is thrust into a strange world of demons, vampires, witches, warlocks and werewolves and has to open up her own suppressed memories as an evil Shadowhunter. Valentine (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is looking for the lost Mortal Cup that can create more Shadowhunters.

To get the Twilight comparisons out of the way, yes there is a love triangle and a teenage girl has a romance with a supernatural creature. But, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones borrows much more from the Harry Potter, having a world within world, many mystical creatures, having a term to describe humans and focuses on a young character who could be more powerful then she realises and discovers her real past. The character of Alec (Kevin Zegers) is the Rosalie of the film, having animosity to our major character.

Continuing with Twilight comparisons, Clary is dependence on the other characters, but that is more due to the fact she is in a strange world and the Shadowhunters are much more experience. But, Clary is still resourceful, asks the right questions and is a go-getter who wants to get stuck in with the adventure.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is a standard fantasy adventure that, as already mentioned, borrows highly from Harry Potter. This is a film that has many predictable plot points, that we've seen many times before. This is a film that does follow The Hero With A Thousand Faces formula, but also makes you dive head first into its world and mythology, where other series would be much more gradual when bringing you into their worlds.

Harald Zwart of Agent Cody Banks and The Karate Kid (2010) fame took on the directing duties and he makes a darker film to his previous efforts. Zwart brings in Gothic visuals throughout the film, from the use of a catacomb that is run by creatures with sewed up mouths and the Shadowhunter's being like a church: but Institute's interior looks very much like Hogwarts. There are some gruesome moments (even for the PG-13 rating) involving the demon dog and the extra limbs demons can grow. But despite all this, death is kept to a minimum.

While The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones does have Judo-Christian iconography with its use of angel statutes and paintings, this is a film that actually side-steps being be a Christian, saying all religions are valid and avoids any mention of God or the afterlife.

The acting for the most part is decent enough, though the dialogue is predictable and a little clichéd at times. We do get to see Clary transform from a regular teenager to a Shadowhunter wearing a short dresses, a leather jacket and thigh high boots. While Campbell Bower brings a sardonic wit to Jace and there is strange aspect that all the Shadowhunters speak with English accents whilst the werewolves are Irish. Actors like Headey and Jared Harris do offer a little gravitas to proceedings but there are really extended cameos with the young actors being front and centre.

Zwart did show his action credentials when he directed The Karate Kid; but he seem to regress for his follow up film. The action sequences are for the most part fairly bland, typical fare. But Jemima West's Isabelle has some moments with a whip and looking really bad-ass when she has a flamethrower. Hell, give her a film.

The special effects are nothing to write home about. There are not bad, but due to the limited budget the digital looked obvious at times, particularly the werewolves. Yet, the demons near the end of the film does have a cool, glowing effort and have a similar look to Kronos' minions in Wrath of the Titans.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones has been have a torrid time with mainstream critics, but in all honesty, it is a perfectly serviceable fantasy adventure that is better to the Twilight series it has been compared to and will please fans of the novels.

Please visit
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A little frustrated.
Claire Bear22 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Okay first of all, i'm a little disappointed as to Simon not being turned into a rat. It was one of the funniest parts of the book! I get that the whole book would have been too long but I believe that that part of the book was worth the extra few minutes, he would have turned back into Simon after the fight if there wasn't enough time to show him in the institute.

Second of all, Valentine is suppose to have white hair (I don't really care about this detail it's more about how he was played) He is suppose to be a sophisticated, well spoken, SMART villain. You are suppose to think "How is HE the villain?!?" He's suppose to be really charming but have a darkness to him. Instead he looks like a biker who wondered on the set and was told "Oh you're the villain."

Clary is NOT suppose to be drawing runes until the next installment, but I guess i see why it was necessary for her to be able to draw runes in that scene. But it was just another confusing aspect to this movie.

Jace is suppose to be a really rude character. He's NOT suppose to be love struck over Clary every ten seconds. It's not suppose to be really obvious, yeah you get a few little indications here and there, but it's not the main focus in his mind.

There was a lot more focus on Clary and Jace than Alec and Jace. They definitely should have explained that a lot more. Even though I had read the book, even I said "Wait, what?" when Clary said that Alec loved Jace because we didn't have any indication before that other than the little tiny mumble Alec said to Clary which was "Stay away from Jace." There were two more indications after that which was Alec talking to Jace and also Alec pushing Clary against a wall and threatening to kill her if she doesn't leave. Maybe that scene with Isabelle should have happened later on in the movie.

We didn't have any indication as to Luke being the leader of the pack, it was just a call to other werewolves who were working in a store to be honest. Luke was really confusing in the movie if you didn't read the books, he's a father figure to Clary. He's basically like her step-dad.

ALSO! What was with Hodge telling Valentine to tell Clary and Jace they were related?! That was a waste of time, and it gets you wondering "Are they related? Are they not?" It's suppose to make you gasp and say "Oh no! They are related!" They should have just shown Valentine telling Jace and Clary, Hodge was completely unnecessary in that part of the film.

The end scene was a bit weird and cliché. Them riding off in a motorcycle that 1. Was not mentioned as to why he had one. Or 2. How he got it (Which was on the roof of Dumort Hotel which would have been a nice bit to add into the movie.)

I guess somethings need to be cut out of the book but I think these things were a bit necessary in order for people to love the movie as much as the book.

The only things I loved about this film were the creatures, (They were really well done and creepy!) Jocelyn, (she was really well cast and well acted and very true to the books) and the sets. (They were just as I had imagined if not, better!)

All in all, a good film. This is just what annoyed me as I have spent the time to read the books and I love all the characters and the sets. For people who haven't read the books. It's not too confusing, although some parts in the movie you go "What just happened?" I recommend seeing this with someone who has read the books to explain those bits. Please go see this movie if you have read the book, it was extremely exciting to see what and who I have imagined on a massive screen. If you haven't, go see with someone who has read the books if you want to really understand the series without reading the books.
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Confusing cocktail of so many clichés
bogdan31414 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
While watching the movie I had no idea there's a book that it's made after. Now while reading other user reviews I found out about it, and suddenly it becomes clear why this movies is SO BAD!

I really can't understand all those people praising the performance, the action etc. Have you people been watching a different movie? Or did you read the book (which I guess was pretty good) and forgot that you must judge the MOVIE not the book?

There are so many bad things in this movie I don't know where to start. It's the very first movie that I literally wanted to stop watching after an hour or so. I proposed my girlfriend to leave the cinema earlier but she wanted to see the end.

What I noticed about other movies that I'd rate as "average", they had plenty of action but where lacking character development. This movie, however, was a complete mess in what regarded action. In the second half of the movie, the scenes were simply coming out of nowhere and with no connections in between. Many things remained unexplained and here-and-there we find out some magic tricks that just don't connect with the story.

One major problem is the mixing of so many clichés I was literally saying "Oh... this too..." every time a plot twist or a character background detail was revealed. This movie was an UNHAPPY MIX of Twilight/The vampire diaries with some modern fantasy movies (like that one with Nicholas Cage being a wizard, I don't know the name now). In the end it jumped into Star Wars father-son-sister clichés: "You are my daughter" ("I am your father" would have really been TOO MUCH), "He is your brother", "Come with me, son", brothers kiss before the revelation (interestingly enough, they continue to feel attracted to each other even after they found out), father-son duel, the good father turning bad etc etc. We see the classical vampire/werewolf rivalry, although vampires seem to be very, very weak creatures in this movies. Nearly 100 vampires seem to have no chance facing a handful of humans.

In the final battle scenes, I was literally confused as to who was fighting, why and where. I was praying for someone to die and bring the movie to an end.

I'm not gonna say anything about "character development". It's a long lost art in movie-making and I didn't expect this movie to deliver any sample either.

I wasn't expecting, however, to see such poorly done screenplay. Absolutely no realism whatsoever in character reaction. Like, for example, in the beginning, the black witch tells the girl "Your mother was a Shadow Hunter!" and she says "No, she's a paintress"... I mean, come on!! Is that really what you say when someone tells you your mom is some demon hunter??

That was just an example among dozens of bad details.

The only explanation for the good reviews and such a high grade (6.6 at the moment) must lie in the book's fans...

In conclusion: I did have low expectations heading into the movie, but I thought it would be at least decent. It wasn't. Fans of the book will blame me, but I don't know about the book. I haven't read it. I only watched a movie. And it was VERY BAD.
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Review From Someone That Never Read The Books
mrnorthjersey25 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I just finished watching the movie and having never read the books and no knowledge of any of the characters or story lines I feel I can share a different perspective than those that have read the books.

1st the Harry Potter comparisons are fair for example you have these 2 worlds co existing but in The Mortal Instruments the two intertwine more than in the Potter films at least in my opinion.

My biggest problem with the film is all the loose ends left at the end of the film. I expect a loose end or two when it's done in sort of a cliff hanger where you expect more of the story to be told but in this movie they did what has to be the poorest job of wrapping things up I have seen in quite some time.

If you read the book then your good cause you have those answers but me? I left with so many questions that I felt as if someone spliced out scenes in the film.

These are my gripes. ***Spoiler Alert*** Hodge who turns out to have betrayed the shadowhunters is last seen closing up the opening that allowed the demons entry. There is no resolution as far as is he cast out for his betrayal? Did he die closing the opening? Did the others ever find out of his betrayal? Then you have Alec who is in love with Jace and is last seen being healed and expected to survive but do they ever go back to show him? No. It sure would be nice to know if that near death experience had any effect on his desire to profess his love for Jace. Oh well.

Then you have Jocelyn believe to be possibly dead turns out she is in a comatose for most of the film and the film ends how? Her still in a comatose state. Why? Is she in some alternate dimension? Is she in "Odin sleep" Is there a bigger part she still has to play? Would of been nice to see something that maybe suggests that. Oh and what was it she drank? Jace had the bottle. Couldn't he give the bottle to the Warlock so he can maybe create an antidote? But wait there's more. Then you have lifelong friend Simon. He is the only mundane of the bunch. Well at least he starts out as one but it seems Clary notices after rescuing him from Vampires that he has bite marks and Simon doesn't seem to need his glasses anymore. Does Simon ever find out why that is so? Does Clary ever tell him, Hey dude I think you might want to get stronger sunblock? Nope. Seems like Simon and movie goers would want to know if he is indeed a vampire or not.

Then the big reveal. Clary I am your father. Oh and by the way Jace is your brother. Can someone please tell me how do you not have closure if this is indeed true or not? Jace suggesting that in his heart he doesn't believe it? I mean really? What is there no such thing as a paternity test in this universe? No Rune that can tell if they are indeed from the same blood? Sorry I just was left with way too many unresolved story lines with not even the hint of say, Hey wait till the next film and all this will be answered.

If you read the books and all my points are resolved then great but at least tell anyone that has never read the books that they need to read them to understand these unresolved issues.
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I read the book and still loved it!
georgiax-434-62031221 August 2013
I read this book before watching the film and i was apprehensive to see if they would get all the important things from the book into the film. I think they did a very good job to get it all in, in just over two hours.

Cast: I thought they cast this film perfectly and all the characters played there roles perfectly. My favourite character from the book and film is Jace as he was so witty and he was really witty in the film which is good.

Story line: The story in this film is all very cramped together as the book was quite big so i think the screenwriter done a good job fitting it all in the 2 hours.

Music: The music in this film was perfect and fitted in with the film perfectly.

overall i think this film was impressive but there was some things that they changed which makes me wonder how they will be changing the story line in the second film.

Worth a watch...

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Mortified Instruments: City of Bores
guitarlord9329 September 2013
It has been said many times, but it bears repeating: this is a clone of every hit teen/young adult series of the 21st century. It genuinely tears scenes from other books and movies and mashes them together into a disgusting movie casserole.

I have written a full review that summarizes the major issues with the film itself (not even touching the blatantly obvious plot-holes and terrible scripting, but just basic issues with the film itself). The review contains spoilers, but here is a non-spoiler list of just a few issues with the film.

1. The attractive and intelligent Lily Collins is reduced to a stuttering, whining, heartless whore.

2. The film tries to justify dressing everyone up like a hooker.

3. The story features a token.

4. The movie ends. Twice.

5. The story glorifies selfishness and hormonal decisions.

6. Every popular film series is robbed for this story.

7. Clary's eyebrows (just has to be said, guys).

If you want more details on these issues, check out my full review, which does contain spoilers, here:
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Don't be fooled by the positive reviews. This movie is awful.
Danie J9 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I actually created an account just to warn people how awful this movie is.

I couldn't figure out why it felt like someone was trying so hard and why I got this desperate Harry Potter vibe from it, then I looked up the "author". Apparently she used to do HP fan fiction, shocking.

Okay so we clarified, poor man's HP - but to top it off then she makes this weird incest thing between two of the main characters. Ermm Guess she's also a fan of star wars? Honestly the whole movie was just what it should be coming from this type of "writer" - a bunch of idea's taken from different movies and TV shows, thrown into one movie. I didn't see one original idea in the whole thing, but we all know that's a common theme now a days. The difference between this movie and other movies/shows that recycle old ideas is - this movie did it so bad it became uncomfortable to watch.

Save your money, save your time. Watch SOME of the better done movies/TV shows this was ripped off from. Harry Potter, Star Wars, Supernatural.
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Don't waste your time
thegroovygrover8 September 2013
I have not read the books , I hadn't even heard of them so I went to see this with a very open mind , but this is just a very poor film , badly adapted , not very well acted and all the special effects can not make up for what is just a turkey of a film , I didn't engage with any of the characters which left me not caring what happened to them , and i just ended up looking at my watch to see how long it was till it finished ! I'm surprised to see so many positive user reviews on here , my advice is read the critics reviews far more accurate - no big blockbuster franchise here I for that I think we should all be very thankful , This is one strictly for young kids only !
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Utterly ridiculous piece of tribe
gvzfs9 October 2013
This fantasy is filled with bad acting, ridiculous dialog, and a rather inconsistent use of CG.

On a plus note, my daughter at age 7 found this interesting, and was eagerly watching it as it progressed. I take to note as well that she, at age seven, could predict the next course of events in the film.

I, on the other hand, at age 41, had to slap my forehead in agony over the idiotic irrational behavior of the teeny bobbies doing their best to justify the bloated CG extravaganza, where it is equally necessary to dress up and look like goth emo crew before killing daemons with that usual array of medieval weaponry.

It's a bit soft emo porn, and for a much less quality oriented audience.
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I want my money back.
Big_D_Box_Office_Score23 August 2013
You know, I really wanted to give The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones a fair shake. I mean, it LOOKED like another Twilight SOUNDED like another Twilight even FELT like a Twilight clone. (Don't ask me how I know how it felt.) But, I was determined not to judge a book by it's movie (ha!), and went to see City of Bones last night. It's a Twilight clone. And a terrible one, at that. Listen, it's clear that this type of movie has an audience, and I am by no means a typical member of that audience. On top of that, I am not familiar at all with the books. But none of that should matter - a movie should have enough merit to be watchable by anyone, even outside of the usual demographic. And this was nearly UNWATCHABLE. Let's try to do pros and cons. This should be fun... Pros: - Lily Collins, the main character and poor man's Kristen Stewart, was also in of the lowest-scored movies in BDBOS history. So...she's consistent. - You know those people who ALWAYS say, "The book was waaay better than the movie"? Again, never read them myself, but I can't imagine the books being ANY WORSE THAN THIS, so at least that will be an easy argument to win. - Lena Headey, aka 300's Queen of the Spartans, still gets to kick a little bit of ass. Cons: - I've read that a considerable amount of the book was cut from the movie, simply because it was impossible to fit everything into a 2-hour film. I feel like whatever was cut from the book would have made a better 2 hours of movie. So many plot holes, so many needlessly unanswered questions, so many things that DON'T MAKE A GODDAMN BIT OF SENSE. - Twilight did this already. If you're a Twilight person, you've seen this movie already. Awkward, ordinary teenaged girl, thrust into a secret world where supernatural beings battle each other, and gaining multiple One-Direction-looking love interests along the way. If you told me that this movie was really called "Twilight: The Other New Moon's Eclipse At Dawn", I'd believe you without argument. - In God's name, WHY IS THERE AN IMAX VERSION OF THIS??? STOP IT, Hollywood. It's hard enough to justify watching 2 dimensions of this crap. - This movie might actually be cheezier than Twilight. Terrible one- liners, public shows of affection at awkward times, and a plot twist that will make you feel REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE about things you saw previously in the film. - When the audience (which was practically empty in my theater, by the way) starts laughing at parts of the movie that aren't supposed to be have a problem. - It's over 2 hours long...and you'll feel EVERY LAST MINUTE of it. City Of Bones scores a 1 out of 5 on the BDBOS, and should not be watched by human eyes. Vampires and werewolves should probably stay away, too.
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Critics are too harsh
b-duchaine22 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Don't get me wrong, no movie adaptation of a novel is going to be perfect and make everyone happy, but I feel as though the critics have been way too harsh on this movie and it's actors/actresses. Though, this seems like a trend with YA movies, beside Harry Potter I tend to see critics rip and tear apart teen movies like birds feasting on a dead carcass...I swear they all get together and decide to do it as a group. (just saying) Anyhow, I wouldn't say TMI was perfect, but it was the first in the series and I hope they get a chance to fix their minor mistakes and release City of Ashes. I enjoyed that book and would love to see it brought to life.

The actors: I did not see anything wrong with any of them save the actor who played Magnus Bane, he wasn't terrible, but definitely lacked the personality that he had in the books. His character always made me laugh and I guess Godfrey Gao kind of fell a little flat and almost mechanic on screen. I thought everyone else fit well and acted well, I don't see the issues that many others seem to see. I'm no film critic, but I am a fan and a lover of movies.

The Plot: Although most of the movie seemed to stick with the book they surprisingly changed a lot at the end. For example, Hodge telling Valentine to lie to Clary and Jace about being sister and brother versus Hodge actually believing that they were brother and sister after Valentine tells him this. I guess I can understand why they did it, but it, to me, did not have that gut wrenching "oh crap!" moment I felt when reading the books, even though as a reader I hoped and kind of figured it wasn't true, especially when the character of Sebastian shows up, it all starts to piece together from there. Though, I cannot understand why they did it...the incest reason? In case they never made another movie? Fear of confusing people? I don't know, I wasn't a fan, but the changes like this one definitely did not ruin the movie for me.

I enjoyed the action sequences and even thought the "cheesey" romance scene in the garden was kind of cute, I thought the kiss between Jace and Clary was pretty passionate and personally felt as though Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower had good chemistry. (I have to admit I liked Jamie already from his role on Camelot) Well, this is just my opinion and two cents I just really hope that the movie itself does well with the fans and that a second film is made because I, for one will be devastated to see such an amazing series from such an incredible author be shut down after only one movie. :(
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Great Adaption, Book readers will love, and their friends that haven't.
Jess Rushing21 August 2013
Total movie: 90/100 Acting: 80/100 Effects: 80/100 Book Changes: 80/100 Awesome Level: 100/100

Not really any spoilers, just the mention of changes, and certain scenes. As a fan of the books, I came into this knowing they were going to change things, and being okay with it. I was very happy with the small changes, and rearrangements. I loved this movie. It has to be one of my favorite book to movies. It's different, but the changes all fit well with were the movie went, and flowed. Despite what critics have said, I think this is nothing at all like Twilight or Harry Potter. It's nothing we ever have seen before, being a fan of a lot of YA novels and movies, (and have repeatedly read and watched them) so I know whats what. This movie/book is not at all like Twilight, especially. For one the female lead can actually kick ass, and stand up for herself. The acting was much, much, better than I expected. Robert Sheehan was fantastic as Simon, Lilly Collins a great lead, truly pulling off Clary, and Jamie Campbell Bower was everything I ever imagined for Jace. Jonathan Rhys Meyers was absolutely creepy, as the villain, Valentine, Kevin Zegers played Alec perfect, and new comer Jemina West was the best Isabelle I could picture.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS MOVIE: I was with my mom, who has not read the books at all, and she loved it. She's a fan of fantasy like I am, so she was able to keep up with everything, and understand. Unlike some critics who stated they couldn't keep up with all the new terms. So I recommend this movie to ANYONE who likes fantasy films, that have action, good acting, love, and a little bit of scary.

Who SHOULDN'T watch this movie: People who expect this to be Twilight, and just another teen show. People who can't accept changes to the book at all.

COMPLETELY WORTH SEEING IN THEATER! I plan on going again! Possibly even two more times to see it before the movie is out to DVD.
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Made for young teens
ronin333811 January 2014
The plot is simple, predictable, and at times a bit cliché. It is easy to see where this movie borrows elements from other movies and even role-playing games. Character development gets tangled up in haphazard storytelling. At times the blatant exposition drags the pacing to a crawl and at other times it is rushed along with barely any time to absorb what is going on. In the midst of all this are a variety of interesting young characters, most of whom we hardly know. Even the three main characters could stand a bit more depth to make us care about their situation. The acting is fine, but certainly nothing noteworthy. The dialog is mostly smartly written and current, but that makes the occasional gaffe really stand out. Visually this looks more like a television production than a theatrical release, and many of the demonic effects show a lack of either talent or budget. Overall, I would rather re-watch an episode of Buffy or Angel, or even Teen Wolf than this again, but it's not awful. If you like clichéd teen romance with a bit of supernatural/fairy tale parental drama, you might really enjoy this, but for most folks who like supernatural adventure movies there are a lot of better options available.
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